Facts about James Comey

James Comey is 56 years old
Best known as: Director of the FBI, 2013-17

     

James Comey Biography

Name at birth: James Brien Comey, Jr.

James Comey is the Republican lawyer and former U.S. attorney whose controversial tenure as Director of the FBI ended abruptly when he was fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017.

James Comey was born in New York, grew up in New Jersey, and graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1982 with a double major in religion and chemistry. He then went to law school at the University of Chicago, graduating in 1985.  He worked as a law clerk and then as a laywer for the New York firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (1987-93).

Comey moved up to Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney in charge of the Richmond Division for the Eastern District of Virginia (1996-2001); in that job, he served as special counsel to the U.S. Senate Whitewater committee during its investigation of President Bill Clinton. From 2002-03 he was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York; his tenure in that job included the successful prosecution of lifestyle maven Martha Stewart for securities fraud and other crimes. Late in 2003 he was appointed Deputy Attorney General by President George W. Bush, serving under Attorney General John Ashcroft until 2005, when he left government service and became General Counsel for defense contractor Lockheed Martin (2005-10) He then worked for investment firm Bridgewater Associates from 2010-13.

He was appointed FBI Director by Barack Obama in 2013, and confirmed by the Senate by a 93-1 vote on September 4, 2013 for a 10-year term. He replaced Robert Mueller III in the job.

James Comey became entangled in the presidential elections of 2016, during which the FBI was investigating both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for alleged infractions with a private email server, and GOP candidate Donald Trump for alleged campaign ties to Russia. Many felt that Comey tipped the election to Trump when he announced on October 28, less than two weeks before the election, that the FBI was looking into the existence of new emails that appeared to be related to the earlier investigation of Clinton.

Trump won the election and in March of 2017, Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI had indeed been looking into alleged ties between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign. Two months later Trump fired Comey, saying he was “terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.” Trump said he was acting on the advice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. A week later, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller, Comey’s predecessor as FBI director, as a special counsel to investigate alleged ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Extra credit

James Comey was the seventh director of the FBI; the first was J. Edgar Hoover… James Comey is 6’8″ tall, according to a 2014 report in New York magazine… James Comey met his wife, Patricia Failor, at William & Mary; as a young woman she served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. They have five children: Maurene, Katherine, Brien, Claire and Abby. Another son, Collin, was 9 days old when he died from a bacterial infection in 1995… James Comey is a Methodist, according to a 2014 report from the United Methodist Church.


     

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